Press Release
May 21, 2015

Recto : No benefit in replacing all motor vehicle plates

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto today questioned the decision of Land Transportation Office (LTO) to replace the license plates of all motor vehicles without clear benefits for the paying vehicle owners.

In today's joint public hearing of the Blue Ribbon and Public Services committees on the alleged bidding irregularities by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) regarding the procurement of motor vehicles plate, Recto asked if the mandated new license plates on both new and old vehicles would help ease the daily traffic woes and lessen the carnapping incidents.

"Kung wala namang problema sa kasalukuyang plaka ng mga sasakyan, bakit kinakailangan palitan at pagbayarin ang vehicle owners sa bagong plaka? Ano ang kapalit sa ibabayad ng taongbayan?"

The LTO has started the issuance of new plates for motor vehicles and motorcycles charging P450 and P120 respectively per set of plates.

Recto has in fact warned the LTO last year of this problem created by forcing all vehicle owners to change plates.

Recto said he sees no problem if the government will allow motor vehicles to keep their license plates and limit the installation of new car plates to brand new vehicles up for registration.

Recto said there is no logic to the plan of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to replace all existing car license plates with a new design.

"Ok lang kung mga bagong sasakyan na irerehistro ang lalagyan nyo ng bagong plaka. Pero ginawa nyong sapilitan para sa lahat ng sasakyan, pati sa mga plakang maayos at wala namang problema," he said.

"No matter how I look at it, walang pakinabang dito kundi dagdag na gastos lang sa taongbayan. At ang kikitain ay mapupunta lahat sa manufacturing company ng plaka na kwestyunable pa ang bidding," Recto said.

He said both the DOTC and the manufacturer of the new plates will be making a killing by creating a captive market for a product, in so far as existing cars are concerned, that is not needed.

"In the first place, the new plate will still include the old numbers, so why subject the car owner to all the hassles of queuing in an LTO office just to have his car plate replaced with a new design?" he said.

"Why order the mass cancellation of 16 million motor vehicle plates just because a new version will be introduced?" Recto said.

Under the DOTC plan, car owners will cough up P450 for a pair of new plates. Of this amount, P380 will be the manufacturer's share while P70 will be the DOTC's "administration fee."

Recto said the "general problem" with car plates is not their design but their short supply and non-availability.

"So the solution is to make them readily available and not to make their installation mandatory to all vehicles," he said.

Recto was the first legislator to call for a Senate inquiry on the reported delays in the release of license plates and stickers when he filed Senate Resolution 31 almost two years ago.

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